Beauty packaging’s weight debate: When lighter is not necessarily better

By Julia Wray | Published: 14-Jun-2023

When it comes to packaging, is it more environmentally friendly to be featherweight, or durable and reusable? Or is the answer a marriage of both?

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The beauty industry is adopting an increasingly circular approach to its packaging, based around a reduce, reuse and recycle model. And while an interplay of all three elements is optimal, there is debate as to which mix of approaches suit which brands and products best.

To dig deep into the benefits and limitations of lightweight ‘reduced’ packaging and ‘reusable’ options, which must crucially offer integrity, something often (but not always) going hand-in-hand with a heavier weight, Cosmetics Business asked industry experts to weigh in on the subject.

Defining lightweighting

First up, what exactly is lightweighting?

For Benjamin Punchard, Mintel’s Global Packaging Insights Director: “Very simply put, lightweighting is making packaging with less material.

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